That estimated annual dollar amount reflects a 17.9% increase from $46.4 million in 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Samoan exports accelerated by 88.7% compared to $29 million during 2021.
The top 5 most valuable exported products from Samoa in 2022 were coconut oil, integrated electronic circuits and microassemblies, insulated wire or cable, phone devices including smartphones, and fresh or dried citrus fruit.
Samoa’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data is from 2021. Those metrics show that 98.3% of products exported from Samoa were bought by importers in: New Zealand (23.3% of Samoa’s total exports), American Samoa (21.1%), United States of America (18.6%), Australia (8.6%), Tokelau (7.5%), Taiwan (5.5%), Cook Islands (4.2%), Japan (3.6%), South Korea (2.5%), Fiji (1.7%), Singapore (1.2%) and mainland China (0.5%).
From a continental perspective, 67.1% of Samoa’s exports by value was delivered to fellow Oceanian countries led by New Zealand and American Samoa. Another 18.6% was sold to importers in North America, with 13.8% worth of goods going to Asia.
A tinier percentage went to buyers in Europe (0.5%).
Given Samoa’s population of 201,000 people, its total $29 million in 2022 exports translates to roughly $270 for every resident in the South Pacific Ocean island group. That dollar metric is almost twice the average $145 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Samoa’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Samoan global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Samoa.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$20.8 million (37.9% of total exports)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $6.8 million (12.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $6 million (11%)
- Fruits, nuts: $4.2 million (7.7%)
- Vehicles: $1.8 million (3.2%)
- Vegetables: $1.7 million (3.1%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.6 million (2.9%)
- Iron, steel: $1.4 million (2.5%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.1 million (2.1%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $915,000 (1.7%)
Samoa’s top 10 exports accounted for 84.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Optical, technical and medical apparatus was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 26,383% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was machinery including computers via a 6,826% advance.
Samoa’s shipments of vehicles posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 1,387%.
The leading decliner among Samoa’s top 10 export categories was beverages, spirits and vinegar, pulled down by a -59.3% year-on-year drop.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, coconut oil represents Samoa’s most valuable exported product at 12.3% of the country’s total. In second place was integrated electronic circuits and microassemblies (10.5%), insulated wire or cable (7.7%), phone devices including smartphones (6.3%), fresh or dried citrus fruit (5.8%), lower-voltage switches and fuses (3.4%), printed circuits (also 3.4%), air or vacuum pumps (3%), arrowroot and yams (2.8%), then motorcycle parts or accessories (2.6%).
Products Generating Samoa’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following types of Samoan product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Fruits, nuts: $3.6 million (Reversing a -$590,000 deficit in 2021)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $3 million (Reversing a -$15.million deficit)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $154,000 (Down by -76.6% from 2021)
- Gems, precious metals: $132,000 (Reversing a -$47,000 deficit)
- Copper: $128,000 (Reversing a -$326,000 deficit)
- Oil seeds: $124,000 (Up by 8.8%)
- Cocoa: $20,000 (Down by -68.8%)
- Collector items, art, antiques: $12,000 (Reversing a -$1,000 deficit)
- Vegetable plaiting materials: $1,000 (2021 data unavailable)
- Paper yarn, woven fabric: $1,000 (Reversing an -$81,000 deficit)
Samoa has million-dollar net exports, notably in the international trade under the fruits and nuts as well as the electrical machinery and equipment product category.
Products Causing Samoa’s Worst Trade Deficits
Overall Samoa incurred an estimated -US$437.4 million product trade deficit for 2022, expanding by 28.2% from -$341.2 million in red ink one year earlier for 2021.
Below are exports from Samoa that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Samoa’s goods trail Samoan importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$89.8 million (Up by 57.8% from 2021)
- Iron, steel: -$44.1 million (Up by 573.7%)
- Meat: -$28.9 million (Down by -4.2%)
- Vehicles: -$17.5 million (Down by -27.5%)
- Ships, boats: -$17.4 million (Up by 307.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$15.2 million (Up by 78.9%)
- Meat/seafood preparations: -$15 million (Up by 47.2%)
- Other base metal goods: -$14.5 million (Up by 1069.9%)
- Machinery including computers: -$12.3 million (Down by -38.4%)
- Paper, paper items: -$11.5 million (Up by 55.3%)
Samoa has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits notably for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas under the mineral fuels-related category.
Samoan Export Companies
Not one Samoan corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
The registered companies listing maintained by Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour records exports-related companies from Samoa. Selected examples are shown below.
- APIA Export Fisheries Ltd (fishing, aquaculture)
- CJ Exports & Imports Ltd (furniture)
- Health Seafood Export Limited (fishing, aquaculture)
- Maiden Agricultural Trade & Export (food product manufacturer)
- Samoa Export Co Ltd (agriculture, fishing)
- Sea & Lagoon Export Ltd (fishing, aquaculture)
In macroeconomic terms, Samoa’s total exported goods represent 4.7% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($1.174 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 4.7% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 2.6% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Samoa’s total economic performance, albeit based on a relatively short timeframe.
Another key economic indicator is a country’s unemployment rate. Samoa’s unemployment rate averaged 10.31% in 2022, up from the average 8.87% jobless rate for 2021.
Samoa’s capital city is Apia.
See also Australia’s Top 10 Exports, New Zealand’s Top 10 Exports and Top Oceanian Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Australia-Oceania: Samoa. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 11, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 11, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour, Samoa Company Registry. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Flag of Samoa. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Samoa. Accessed on September 11, 2023
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Apia, Samoa. Accessed on September 11, 2023